REVIEW: Amazing Spider-Man #644 by WAID and AZACETA

Amazing Spider-Man #644: “Origin of Species Part 3″
Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Paul Azaceta

Origin of Species continues as Spider-man makes his desperate attempt to get baby Osborn to safety. The issue begins with a poorly drawn crazy woman screaming at the top of her lungs in a police station that someone needs to save her baby from Spider-man. This is little more than a nuisance to the police who are wondering why Spidey having this baby has drawn out so many crazies – from the insane women, like the one mentioned – to his rogues gallery.

One has to stop and wonder at what point the police stop and think “Hey, it’s pretty obvious Spider-man isn’t kidnapping that kid, he’s protecting it” but I guess that would require too much common sense. It also makes you wonder, a few pages afterwards, when Carlie is rescued from the police by Tombstone (not so much rescued, as, they annoy him until he leaves and decides to stalk her in secret, which as you can imagine, is pretty hard for a big dude made of granite) why her ultimate conclusion about Pete being missing from the scene of the villain’s attacks is really just “him being selfish.” Not that I’m saying she needs to jump to the immediate conclusion that he’s Spider-man, but you’d think she’d give the guy a little more credit.

Anyway, back to the action.

We see Spidey facing off against some of the newest and most forgettable additions to his rogues gallery, Freak and the new Vulture. I’m generally a fan of these stories that really are nothing more than an excuse to pit our hero against all of his enemies at once, but this one has been pretty shoddy, especially since I don’t think any of us wanted to see these characters again.

He gets away from them (pretty easily at that, what was even the point of dragging them out of limbo?) until he’s got the face the Rhino. Unlike the other villains after the baby, Rhino doesn’t care about it at all, he just wants Spider-man dead, holding him responsible for the death of his wife Oksana (as seen during The Gauntlet) Spidey talks his way out of the fight, appealing to the last bit of humanity left in his foe and continues on trying to reach Avengers Mansion.

But his trip is made a little more difficult given that Doc Ock has been watching his ever move, thanks to his own Octo-tracers.

Next we see Mary Jane and Harry getting Lily to relative safety before Harry takes off, hoping to go do…something. Maybe he’s going to go see Norman. Maybe he’s going to find a spare Goblin glider and go save his little brother who knows at this point.

Spidey finally makes it to Avengers Mansion, before being attacked by a very demonic and goblin-esque version of baby Osborn. It almost seems like a nightmare, before he cracks the entire illusion and takes down Mysterio, who had crafted the whole thing, goblin-baby and mansion.

Annnnnnnd then Freak and Vulture return, but things look like they finally might go our hero’s way. Harry tracks him down and requests the baby. Spidey gives it to him and then crafts a makeshift infant from trash with which to distract his foes. The plan almost seems to work…that is before he realizes that Harry hasn’t really moved and that debris from his battle with Freak and Vulture is falling his way.

He makes quick work of them before jumping down to see what’s up with Harry. The news isn’t good.

Baby Osborn is dead, in what could possibly go down as the saddest plot twist in Spider-man history. Enraged, Spider-man storms off to find Doctor Octopus and to make him pay for he’s done.

Then we get this awesome last page:

Not only is the baby not dead, but the Chameleon is a pretty big dick as well.

Overall Rating: 5/10 – Art’s still weak, story’s still bad, but the moment between Spider-man and Rhino and the twist at the end set this issue leagues above the first two parts of this story. Here’s hoping it ends strong.

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